6 Ways to Learn Anything Faster

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Reposted from Entrepreneur:

For many of us, there are more things we want to learn than we have time for. And as information becomes more readily accessible online, the number of things we want to learn has only increased. That means that the only variable we can actually control is the time we spend learning them.

Shortening the learning curve is a topic that’s been studied for many years, and this guide will cover the fundamental core principles of learning faster. Were these principles perfectly in place, you could leverage them to push yourself to learn faster and master any category of learning, including languages, business skills, musical instruments and more. To quote Tony Robbins: “One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ability to learn rapidly.”

So, here are those principles…

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The Wonderful & Terrifying Implications of Computers That Can Learn [VIDEO 19:47]

Jeremy Howard is the CEO of Enlitic, which uses recent advances in machine learning to make medical diagnostics faster, more accurate, and more accessible. The company’s mission is to provide the tools that allow physicians to fully utilize the vast stores of medical data collected today, regardless of what form they are in – such as medical images, doctors’ notes, and structured lab tests. In this talk given at TEDxBrussels, he presents a thought-provoking look at the extraordinary, wonderful, and terrifying implications of computers that can learn.

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27 Ways to Check for Understanding [INFOGRAPHIC]

 learnanythingChecking for understanding is the foundation of teaching. Whether you’re using formative assessment for data to personalize learning within a unit, or more summative data to refine a curriculum map, the ability to quickly and easily check for understanding is a critical part of what you do. In this infographic Mia MacMeekin offers up 27 additional ways to check for understanding.

View the original posting here.

Forget Future Ready, how about Globally Ready?

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Reposted from Rafranz Davis’ blog:

I found myself looking through conference proposals and sessions. It bothered me. I won’t lie. I feel like we, this edtech community, are further drowning ourselves into a pile of buzzwords and platforms so much so that I have to wonder if people really understand what transformation, innovation, inquiry and even creativity looks and feels like.

I get that one must learn about tech tools but I have to wonder why we do the exact opposite at these “learning events” that we want to see in schools. Why are we NOT putting the “how to use this app” things online and offering more discussion based sessions on things like writing better questions, learner empowerment, designing student driven lessons, community based projects, teaching beyond the test, reflection, feedback, research and soft skills…you know…the things that technology can enhance support. (See the update below for a more thorough and fluid expansion)

At some point we’ll figure out that while playing assessment app games are somewhat informing, our kids deserve much more than that when it comes to technology. Scanning a code for a math problem to solve is “fun” but how is that technology really enhancing supporting learning? Did the question change because it was scanned versus written in a book or on paper? Don’t even get me started on augmented reality. Yes, some kids love competition, but how is playing Kahoot different than “insert clicker name here”…and don’t you dare say, “because it has bright colors and music!” Just…No. We need technology, don’t get me wrong but I also know that we have to talk about how we are empowering students to lead in their schools, communities, states and globally! How are we preparing students to be not just “future ready” but Globally Ready?

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All Children Thriving

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In the last 300 years western society has evolved from an agricultural base to an industrial base to a now evolving digital base. Education is still trying to catch up as we continue to aim for that most laudable of aspirations, the conviction that all children can learn and be successful. If we agree on that core value and strip away all of the clamor that is being created by special interests, the single question we need to answer is this: how do we transform our public education system to reach that place where all children learn and grow to become thriving, productive citizens?

Strip away the societal issues, labor relations, and economic concerns; they will always exist. The single focus that can answer this question is our own humanity; meeting the needs of our children regardless of who is their teacher or where their school is located. If children’s needs are met, they can thrive and learn and grow. Children need to be rested, nourished, healthy, safe, secure, loved, supported, challenged and engaged to be successful. We know this from our own experience. When children have these needs met, they flourish. The amount of money spent, the amount of data collected, the amount of technology used are all distractions if these basic requirements are not met for achieving human potential.

Given this single powerful truth for taking education to the next level, what are our concrete next steps? Renegotiating teacher contracts? Changing funding formulas? Year-round schooling? National standards? Business models?

Listen closely to who is speaking and what they are saying; there is a distinct difference between being a stakeholder and being a special interest. The one thing special interests have succeeded in doing is cranking up the noise level.

There’s a smug Steven Wright observation: ” Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?” The humor lies in the fact that it hits close to home….there is some truth in the question. You turn down the radio to rid yourself of distractions while focusing where you need to be. It’s time to turn down the noise so we can focus on our destination: all children successfully learning and growing and thriving.

Ash Wednesday

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8 Content Areas For Tomorrow’s Students

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A lot is implied in the content areas we choose to disperse the world through. That’s essentially what classes and content areas are – perspectives to make sense of the world. If the world changes, should they change? These words and phrases that we now associate with schools, teachers, and assignments reflect our priority as a culture. This is the information and thinking we value and want our children to understand. It also implies what we think is useful, presumably (unless we’re intentionally teaching content that we think is use-less).

Somehow, most schools in modern times have settled on the Humanities and STEM, with a North American student’s courses usually including English, Math, Science, and Social Studies as a kind of core. These collections of content are curated by experts into standards that are then formed into curriculum, units, and lessons. Teachers take up these lessons and, mixed with iconic ideas like the quadratic equation, the water cycle, and William Faulkner’s use of symbolism, become the face of what students learn.

Just as advances in technology enabled the growth of science, the extremely rapid growth of technology we’re experiencing today is impacting our perspectives, tools, and priorities now. But beyond some mild clamor for a focus on “STEM,” there have been only minor changes in how we think of content–this is spite of extraordinary changes in how students connect, access data, and function on a daily basis. What kind of changes might we expect in a perfect-but-still-classroom-and-content-based world? What might students learn in the future?

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3 TED Talks That Can Change How You Learn, Teach & Lead

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Reposted from Edudemic:

“How do you conduct yourself in your classroom? As a leader, a learner, an observer, a participant, and a member of a larger group. All of these roles hold so much nuance that your students learn from. It is sometimes easy to forget how much our students are learning from us just by being with us and observing how we act in the classroom both with them, other students, and our colleagues.

The following three TED talks aren’t specifically school, student, or educator focused. But when you watch them, they can really get you thinking about how you’re conducting your classroom and how you’re addressing challenge, choice, effort, and leadership. Take a few minutes and watch them. They address the human obsession with personal choice and how that affects how we make collective choice (in the first video). In the second, Joi Ito, the director of the MIT media lab addresses the idea that we should be ‘now-ists’: people who build and innovate quickly, without constantly checking with others to ensure we’re doing the ‘right thing’ before continuing. The last video explores what it takes to be a great leader.

Once you’ve watched them, ask yourself if you would change anything you’re doing in your classroom (or everyday life) differently because of the new perspective they’ve offered:”

Renata Selecl on Choice [VIDEO 15:03]

Joi Ito on becoming a Now-ist [VIDEO 12:32]

Roselinde Torres on Great Leadership [VIDEO 9:20]

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